Friday, 30 August 2013

Folk Tale Dev Blog 11

By Simon Dean, Project Lead

By golly a fortnight goes quickly. With everyone focused on their own tasks, the blog presents a great opportunity for the team to step back and review progress across the entire project. As usual, there's a lot going on, including the release of Patch 0.1.6.0 that improved the inventory system.

Save/Load System

The absence of a save/load system at launch understandably generated a lot of forum chatter. Having defined the save/load framework as part of the development of the Location Editor, in the last two weeks we've extended it to include all of the objects in the tutorial. We're about 70% done, with the final 30% involving test cases to check game state is correctly restored. So hopefully not too much longer until players can save games in the tutorial.

With each new patch there is however a chance we may need to purge previous save games. Obviously we'll avoid doing so unless absolutely necessary, but when we do launch the feature, please bear in mind that it comes with a caveat due to the nature of being alpha that the shelf-life of a saved game might only be a few weeks.

Location Editor / Tower Defense Mini-Game

In the previous dev blog we mentioned Aron was integrating the new tile-based navmesh pathfinding system into the Location Editor. In today's blog we're able to take a closer look behind the scenes at what's going on. In the image below, the top and middle windows show the same scene with and without the purple navmesh geometry and the cyan shape-cutters for trees, while the bottom window shows a top down isometric view better highlighting the individual square tiles.

The shape-cutters are required for props that populate a scene, for example trees and chests. We don't know where players will want props in their location designs, so at run-time we perform a boolean operation using the tile's source navmesh and the shape-cutters to produce a new re-triangulated navmesh. If during gameplay the player constructs a building spanning several tiles, the building's own navmesh overrides that of the tiles ( which is temporarily disabled in the event of the building being destroyed ) and connects itself automatically to neighbors. Of course all of this is hidden from players who's focus can remain firmly on creating a great location design.

Tile-Based Navmesh Pathfinding

With responsive UI being critical to user-adoption and productivity, we've been cleaning up the next iteration of UI windows. First impressions count, so it's important resizing, locking, scrolling, snapping and depth swapping are all glitch free to avoid putting players off.

Aron has also been performing a peer review of the entire programming code base. Having been the sole programmer for two years, it's invaluable to get a fresh pair of eyes onto my own code and to implement some of his ideas for improvement.

Art Assets: Hunter's Lodge

Following on from the concept art presented in Dev Blog 10, the three tiers of the Hunter's Lodge are now complete.



Animation: Quadruped Skeleton / Horse Riding

Both the stables and the cavalry military unit require horses be added. Using a rough working model that the art team will later shape to match the final horse concept art, Tom has been working on the quadruped skeleton required to animate the horse. It's early stage but once it's finished we look forward to sharing some video footage of the horses idle, trotting and galloping animation loops.

Quadruped Skeleton for Horses




The same skeleton also drives the deer, which the Hunters shoot with crossbows and carry over their shoulders back to the Hunting Lodge for skinning and filleting.

Concept Art

Pre-production visualizations completed this period include the Stables, Fisherman and Stablehand. A number of the designs are too modern and need a heavier bias towards medieval styling, so they'll undergo a final iteration before 3D modelling begins. Hopefully it will be interesting to show in future blogs how characters evolve from the pre-production sketches we've shared thus far to a final painted 3D character in the game.

I did discuss with our Art Director whether we should produce fully painted concept art pieces from these base visualizations, but I'd rather him spent that time painting the final character texture. It's a much better use of time and money.

Character Concept: Stable Hand


Character Concept: Fisherman


Building Concept: Stables














43 comments:

  1. Looking good guys, just a FYI the Hunter's Lodge video is private.

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  2. Awesome job so far! I bet the end result will be amazing!

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  3. Looking great! Keep up the good work!

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  4. I don't know where to put this, but I was wondering about a few things:

    -Why does right click not move a unit?
    -I can't take famer/blacksmith/barmaid units outside of the village without them getting stuck on pathing.
    -If I place my unit in a location, I can't tell them to stay in that place.

    Anywho, very awesome game. Reminds me of a Sims Warcraft 3 with the artwork.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Joseph,

      The best place for these questions are over in the forum at http://steamcommunity.com/app/224440/discussions/

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  5. I don't suppose we'd ever be able to name our citizens would be? or would that function be too troublesome to implement?

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  6. Kavista

    Beautiful work on the houses and concepts! I so can't wait to test all this out. I love horses and they look great! :)

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  7. Work on getting dynamic building spots, If you dont have a good foundation it will end up beeing more work later on

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  8. Ill buy the game when I can dynamically place buildings and not on spots. The concept and game looks awesome, the static way of building is just a big turn off

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    Replies
    1. The static placement currently in the tutorial is temporary. Sandbox will have free placement.

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  9. Very cool it will be awesome to see all this implemented together. Certainly keeps in line with previous models. I like the horseshoe on the front the stables.

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  10. This looks absolutely awesome. The concept art is very unique.

    I can't wait for save/load options for the tutorial. I want to save it at the end and then whenever an update comes out, I want to test everything that has changed. Loving this game so far. Your ideas, art, and graphical appearances for Folk Tale are so uniquely surreal and I love that about this game. I also love toast, and funnily enough, I actually make up to 16-20 pieces of toast a day. Fact. Not for myself of course! So you can clearly see why this game is for me! I do hope you come out with merch like posters etc. I want that on my wall. Now, let's pray to the almighty toast!

    Can't wait for the next update! Keep up the good work! <3

    ~bravado

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  11. Looks indeed good!

    But it's really really time now for the developer to also deliver something (even if it's not yet perfect) to the game or let's say to the investors of the game. I saw a lot of good ideas during the last three months but nothing found it's way into the game I bought. An update/ anykind of content to the game is overdue!

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  12. I honestly can't wait, I have been so anxious for those patches i keep checking steam daily xD your game is brilliant and the more i read dev blogs, the more I can't wait for the content. keep up the amazing work guys :)

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  13. i just bought this game on steam im gunna wait a thew weeks till the save/load feture is in

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  14. Very well made in my opinion. The models look awesome and I am actually tempted to try to model one of them to see if I can. Keep up the good work.

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  15. Will the game have any sort of multiplayer?

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    Replies
    1. Folk Tale is a single player sandbox game as voted for by the community.

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  16. I personally would love to have the map editor available before the tower defence game comes out. I would like a chance to become familiar with the building aspect before I run my castle through to rounds of goblins. Currently I'm so excited for that game to come out I will be building 4 walls and hitting GO! just to have a chance to play the game again with something new.
    Also with this part available, individuals skilled in creating mods might be able to assist with different designs for the castles that have not been as of yet added. pooling a larger number of available content upon release.
    just an idea. :o)

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  17. all around great game guys. I enjoy the complexity of it all. When could we expect to see the sandbox feature?

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  18. I just want to play the shit out of this game already.

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  19. Hey, there is something i don't quite understand. Have thoses features been added to the game, or are you just announcing that you are going to add them in the future ?
    The answer is probably obvious, but i don't really get it...

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    Replies
    1. The blog highlights work in progress of content that will arrive once we have the sandbox foundation ready.

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  20. Looking Good guys keep it up. Can't wait to be able to save the tutorial.

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    1. Hopefully not too much longer on load/save. Some pesky bugs still to resolve.

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  21. any update on when save/load function will be implemented? like next week or so? xD

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    1. Yep: http://steamcommunity.com/app/224440/discussions/0/864976837958334424/

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  22. Will there be a way to establish new villages and possibly have a trade route between them? Or will there be dungeon type places that you have to clear of monsters then can get like twice the ores or something until they run dry?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Loheon,

      The answers to your questions are best found by watching the Sandbox Vision Presentation at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzDTbp4aXX8

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  23. Also, Will their be more raids on the city? Maybe a notification saying "Goblins will attack in 3 minutes" And give you the time to amass troops in the city for a 20 on 20 battle or something? I think that would be amazing.

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  24. Just purchased the game from Steam. So far I like. I can't wait for the save/load features. This is the game I've been waiting for. A city builder/adventure. When is the next update planned to be released?

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  25. I was wondering if there was an effort to possibly make the faces and voices custom? Expressions/Skin Color/Attitude

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    Replies
    1. We've been doing a lot of work on this. We'll take a look at some of that progress in dev blog 12.

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  26. or you going to make more units

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  27. any idea when sandbox feature will be added? can't wait for this game :D

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  28. will it have more building

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  29. good game keep it up

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  30. Initial game is fun, like the look a lot and the feel is coming along. Not sure where we should post bugs though for future development. For example, on Mac OS 10.8.4 when you take guards to the gate for wilderness exploration quest, if you move them (left click) beyond the gate, for example in my case where I thought they would bash the gate, they just run at the gate permanently without the ability to get them back. Therefore, 3 guards and 1 monk lost. Really looking forward down the road though to equipping them, etc. Great start guys, really looking forward to the development on this one. ;)

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